Laughter is the Best Medicine

Slaughterhouse-Five – Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Wassap ballas? This week we have no idea what the
fu** is going on with Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Now let’s get somethin straight,
playboy. The first chapter of this book ain’t exactly like the rest. Here, we chillin with
a narrator who sounds A LOT like Kurt Vonnegut. This fool been tryin to write about livin’
through the bombing of Dresden back in Dub-Dub Deuce. But since nothing in war makes a damn
bit of sense, the story he gonna tell us is just a big ol mind-fu**. Billy Pilgrim musta smoked too much
o dat chronic cuz this fool is “unstuck in time”- meanin he always jumpin through
random moments in his life and he can’t do nuthin bout it. As he crawling through the sh**
rollin 4 deep, Billy wanders away, gets unstuck in time, and WACK he time-trips to his future
as a creased-up optometrist. And after trippin through other life events, BAM Billy slides
on back to the war and gets GOT by the Germans. Our boy gets his ass tossed on a
train when ZOW, back to the future, B. And now- here comes some MUTHAfu**IN ALIENS IN
A MUTHAfu**IN FLYING SAUCER. Billy takes one look at these green
hustlas called Tralfamadorians and be like “yo. Why me??” And they all like “Why
anything? sh** just is. Cuz.” ZIPPITY ZAP, playa. Back on the train,
and now peeps be dyin left and right. They reach the camp and ZOOP- Billy trips to the
alien crib where they got him locked up like a zoo animal. Ain’t all bad though, cuz
he gets locked up with a bangin movie star named Montana Wildhack. ZEFF! Billy wakes up right
before it’s lights out. B-pill gets capped and dies. That it? NOPE. HADOUKEN! Back to
1945 where the Germans put him and da other homies on lockdown in a slaughterhouse. When Dresden gets WRECKED by a
firebombing, Billy survives cuz he got put in a meatlocker. WANG! 25 years later, Billy gets on
a plane with some otha optometrist homies when the damn thing crashes! One head-whack
later, Billy’s runnin his mouth on the radio bout Tralfamadore and flying saucers. ZAM. Back in Dresden, the
bombings’s over and errythings quiet. cept for a lil’ bird say “POO-TEE-WEET.” What the hell?! If you think POO-
TEE-WEET don’t make a lick of sense, then well done playboy. Where’d you get that
P.H.D from? All that birds jibber-jabbering is
a symbol for how the narrator feels about war. Senseless. That’s one of this book’s main
beefs: that there ain’t nothing smart to say about war. And when you talkin bout the
death of 135,000 people, logic just don’t apply. No matter how fly your writing game
be, you can’t describe what’s indescribable. And any time you try to do it justice, you
gonna end up with a story just like our narrator’s. So instead of a rap with a beginning, middle,
and end, we get a version that’s all screwed and chopped. The structure of dis book is,
in itself, a massacre. When you’re in a world that’s so
damn broke that you cant even pick up the pieces, the only choice you got is to look
at it differently. Some playas think that’s why the narrator made Billy P an optometrist-
he corrects our vision of the world and helps us see that bad stuff happens for no reason.
So it goes… But good stuff happens to all those
that press subscribe. Catch you next week, padna.

100 thoughts on “Slaughterhouse-Five – Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

  1. I love K Vonnegut’s writing. I read this book got to the martians part and thought What? But the Dresden massacre that was … senseless and so it goes. Thanks for making “sense” of what’s supposed to be senseless. I didn’t understand that was his point. I want one of those shirts!

  2. I always figured the messiness of the plot was due to Billy's PTSD. One of the main symptoms of PTSD is feeling disconnected from time, and reliving past events in your head

  3. Someone asked in the comments if they should read this book. I answered in detail, then saw many more similar questions, so I decided to repost my answer here, as to not flood the other person’s thread with responses to my opinion. That said, here is the aforementioned comment. *** Ever read Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs? Or Acid House by Irving Walsh? If so and you liked that vain of erratic thought and nonlinear storytelling, then you’re likely going to enjoy this book. However if you are one of the people who needs structure as in, setting >backstory >conflict >arch >resolution >conclusion>epilogue > closure….you won’t find that here. Warning the following contains my opinion you may not agree with my take on the story and that’s OK doesn’t make me wrong it just means that we view things from different perspectives, therefore it opens the conversation up to discussion and a mutual broadening of horizons. Keep that in mind before you criticize and, or dismiss my opinions because they do coincide or support your own. “There’s no room for single-mindedness in intelligent conversation.” Slaughterhouse Five. This is one mans  alliteration on the purest form of his feelings during wartime. It’s a parable of sorts, almost like reading the therapy diary of a war victim as they create stories to try to help process the emotional turmoil, out right confusion and injustice that one experiences in war. Almost as if he’s trying to make sense of it himself and can’t, and so it goes . He leaves us in the end without conclusion but instead with our minds reeling and trying to process what we just experienced during the reading of the book. Some people may be angry, confused, frustrated some people may find deep inner meaning as it applies to them directly within the pages. But there are very few people who are unaffected by the book and isn’t that really the point great literature to affect us in someway?  This is my favorite book of all time. I actually have a first edition signed copy of it. My personal opinion of the story is that it was written to make you feel what he felt when it was all said and done. Like I said before you may feel angry, irritated, hell even violated, but you feel, and that’s what I believe Kurt was trying to  accomplish in his own artistic way. How do you explain to someone why you don’t feel OK? How does one show you the inner workings of their mind when the world is telling them to get over it. We have a much broader tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of PTSD these days, but when this book was written  the world simply called it: shellshocked, and wrote off the suffers of the after affects of war. I don’t think this book was meant to be a story in the classical way one would expect. I think that this was on a psychological level  a way for a man who is feeling unheard, written off, pigeonholed, and out right misunderstood, to take a little piece of the broken part of his mind and make you feel  even a nano particle of what he was feeling. And I believe he accomplish that. People wouldn’t have such a gut reaction to this book if he had not.  Take that with a grain of salt like you should anything that anyone says about literature, and explore the experience of the book yourself. I’d be very interested to have you come back after reading it let me know what your reflection on it is. Do you agree with any of the things I’ve said or do you have a completely different opinion all your own. One of the great pleasures of having read this book is that it does open a wide variety of conversation topics whatever it is brought up. It seems that everyone who has read it, does have a strong opinion  on its context and actual meaning. That in itself should be worth the price of admission. Hell it sure beats talking about the Kardashian‘s or trumps latest tweet right?

  4. how does this man teach me more in less than 5 minutes than my supposedly qualified Literature teacher?

  5. the german gov figured out the death toll to be closer to 20k people, still a tragedy but not 135k tragedy.

  6. One question tho: so does he like change during the book or does he stay the same? I need this for an essay man help me out xd.

  7. Not trying to downplay the deaths of German civilians at all but the real death toll of the bombing of Dresden is about 20,000. And it was important to the German war effort, it was a major rail junction to ship men to the fight the Soviets still that is a lot of unnecessary civilian casualties.

  8. The amount of dislikes this has kind of restores some of my faith in humanity. 🙂

    I thought I should clarify what I mean lol. I'm so happy this has so few thumbs down. Think about the ratios us users see on the average video. I'd say ten percent is normal. I'm so glad the stats are skewed in a video like this. Badass numbers. Great content.

  9. At one point I thought the voice was over exaggerated. Then after watching a second video, his voice just sort of became, actually relaxing😂. Now I’m hooked and can’t stop❤️❤️ I feel like this is going to help me in my AP Lit class. So I’m not complaining
    Thanks for making awesome literary content❤️📚 Your knowledge of books is incredible sir.

  10. Reminder that this book is entirely the reason why the topic of the dresden bombing is nothing but an endless source of misinformation due to German propoganda functioning effectively.

  11. Bad stuff happened's to be because of some reason , reason usually having very little or nothing to do with you personally. Bad stuff as in war.

  12. I read this book back in high school. I'm not sure if I even would've known about the bombing of Dresden if it wasn't for this book.

  13. I’m just starting this book. Is the time travel real or is it a representation of finding himself again after the war or something like that?

  14. " All quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque , chapter 3 . After a break and a meal away from the front lines the men begin talking . They conclude these simple men we are killing and killing us on the other side are just like us . Cui bono – Those who benefit from war are the leaders , the military industrial complex , the robber barons , and why we killing and being killed with our equals who only want peace , friends and family and life ? But next day they back in the trenches killing and being killed . The answer to ending wars is to reach out beyond borders and realize we have a hell of a lot more in common with the soldiers on the other side then our leaders and the previously mentioned ilk .

  15. I loved it, Wisecrack. Man it has been 50 . . . yea 50+/- years since I read SH-5. Your analysis was on target. I may need to read it again.

  16. So it goes…. i really liked this book, one phrase that stuck with me was… "But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human." I dont know why it stuck,dont even know wha it signified…. but i liked it

  17. Me: I’ve heard of this book, let’s see what it’s about
    Sparky: The End
    Me: WHAT THE FUCK???

    I still liked the video though!

  18. Billy suffers from ptsd. The aliens are shaped like toilet plungers to help plunge the metaphorical "shit" messing with our minds by un sticking billy from time, allowing him to see the pieces. Also symbolizing a lack of a present, by never really being present, always looking at different parts of your life because of the ptsd.

    So it goes was supposed to represent the cheapness of life in war. How little one person mattered to those who lived. How you see death when you live with it.

  19. Ok, so has anyone else noticed the similarities between the tralfamadorians and the heptapods from arrival? They're both have hand-like appearances and travel nonlinearly through time. Not to mention the saucer spaceships compared to the round lens shaped ships.

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